Here’s a summary, and some highlights, of the newsletter topics I discussed in January.

The overarching theme for the month was “slowing down”, which in many respects feels ironic, due to the “get out of the gates quickly and kick some ass” messages that we’re all used to receiving at the beginning of a new year.

I’m totally in favor of kicking ass and doing awesome things, it’s just that I’m encouraging you to consider a different approach.

Here are some highlights from the month…

MAKE REFLECTION A HABIT: 

It may feel like I spoke about the benefits of reflection ad nauseam, assuming, of course, you read this stuff, but it’s such a powerful tool that I’m going to mention it one last time….

Here’s the reflection formula that you can always rely on:

Question > Reflection > Insight > Inspiration > Action.

When you stop and reflect, it gives you an opportunity to pause, create your own insights and potentially see the world in a whole new way.

Reflection encourages creativity and creativity is what keeps your spirit alive!

TAP INTO YOUR EMOTIONS:

When you stop and pause to reflect, you’re able to tap into and identify your emotions.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, if you bottle up your emotions, you won’t have a chance to create all of those wonderful new patterns and behaviors that will inevitably make 2019 your best year ever.

To support you in your efforts, here are 5 ways to tap into your emotions and create deeper connection to self.

1. Be present to your emotions. Breathe as you experience them and allow them to flow through your body.

2. Identify a physical response. Be aware of muscle tension; take inventory of areas where you feel achy in your body when experiencing your emotions.

3. Remove the story. Notice if you’re creating drama around the emotions; release yourself from any attachment to the story.

4. Process the experience. Give yourself space to process what’s happening. Slow down. Allow the emotions to move through you.

5. Stay open. Understand that you’ll continue to experience emotions; the more open you remain, the more connected you become to yourself.

INCREMENTAL STEPS ALLOW FOR TRUE TRANSFORMATION: 

There’s a great book I read from my Master’s program a few years ago called, The Kaizen Way, One Small Step Can Change Your Life.

The big takeaway is pretty much summed up in the title – commit to making small incremental daily changes to create long-lasting changes in your life.

There are so many benefits to taking this approach – from reducing anxiety, to creating a daily plan that is always within reach. I continually refer to this methodology with my clients and encourage you to do the same.

Here are three ways you can start implementing the Kaizen approach in your work-life right now:

1. Determine where your time and energy is wasted.

2. Ask yourself what small steps you can take to be more productive or efficient.

3. Set aside time to review what’s working and could be improved.

Hopefully you’ll find this month’s takeaways to be supportive.

As for February…..the newsletter themes will focus on creating positive patterns in your life that have lasting impact.